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Man sentenced to year in prison on drug count

Ten arrested, seven more sought in drug, firearms sweep

A long-term investigation has resulted in the arrest of 10 individuals in the Southside Virginia region on approximately 31 drug and firearm charges.

Victim identified in July 6 death in La Crosse

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office has identified Jessica Stroud, 35, of Waynesboro as the victim in a July 6 death in La Crosse that police describe as suspicious.

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Halifax routed by Mecklenburg in pre-majors state tournament


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Looking back on Clarksville’s bicentennial celebration

SoVaNow.com / December 24, 2018
With Clarksville’s 200th anniversary year drawing to a close, Clarksville Lake Country Chamber Executive Director Sheila Cuykendall shared her reflections on the year-long celebration with members of Town Council Monday night during their monthly meeting.

This year for the first time in many years, Clarksville was one of the sites chosen to take part in Virginia’s Historic Garden Week. The eight-day statewide event drew hundreds of visitors to the area for a unique opportunity to see gardens in Clarksville at the peak of Virginia’s springtime color, as well as beautiful houses filled with flower arrangements created by Garden Club of Virginia members.

Local businesses joined the Garden Week celebration by decorating the light poles along Virginia Avenue with floral themes

This was also a record-breaking year for attendance at the annual Wine Festival which takes place in April. Though the decision to stage the event on the U.S. 58 downtown bridge proved controversial, the festival received more attention from people outside the area for its “one of a kind unique location,” said Cuykendall.

Several of the town’s regular events — the Fourth of July parade, Harvest Days and the Christmas parade — took on a bicentennial flair in honor of the town’s birthday. One new event, the Tobacco Ball —the final party of the anniversary year — proved to be so popular that the Chamber and the Town are looking into making it an annual event, Cuykendall said.

This was also the first year the Chamber sponsored a local farm fresh market. It took place on the second and fourth Saturday of each month through October. Cuykendall said she hopes to grow the event by attracting more local food producers as well as craft vendors in the coming year.

In addition to thanking the town, including members of the Clarksville Volunteer Fire Department and local police, Cuykendall praised Brenda Fariss and Steve Hite for brining the hot air balloon pilots to town twice this year — first during Lakefest in July and again for Harvest Days in October. She also praised Randy Gupton for once again putting on an amazing fireworks display to end Lakefest and The Mecklenburg Sun for the special editions in 2018 that recounted the history of Clarksville and publicized Chamber events.

In other business on Monday,

» Town Council members approved a change to the policy allowing police to take their officials vehicles home at the end of their shift. Certified officers were authorized to take their cars home as long as the officer did not travel more than 10 miles one way between the town limits and their residence.

Town Manager Jeff Jones said loosening the travel restriction from 10 to 20 miles would enable officers to respond more quickly in the event of an emergency. Council agreed to the change.

» Council agreed to continue participation in the Virginia Growth Alliance retail strategies, a program by which the county and towns work together to attract new businesses to the area. The cost for Clarksville to continue with the alliance is $1,517. This will be paid from monies already allocated for economic development.

» Clarksville’s zoning rewrite committee is continuing work on the first comprehensive update of the town’s zoning code in more than 30 years. The first draft of the proposed code was discussed with Council and members of the Planning Commission at a joint meeting on Dec. 3. Following that session, Council and Planning Commission members were asked to submit questions and suggested changes. These are being reviewed before they will be incorporated into the code before the document is sent to the town’s legal counsel for review.

Jones said any changes by legal will be reviewed by the Zoning rewrite committee and Planning Commission prior to submitting a recommendation to the Council for formal publication of the official document.

» Richard Elliott, Clarksville operations director, said he is still researching prices for the town’s new trash truck. At the same time, the town is looking into the cost of outfitting residents with trash containers that can be picked up and dumped mechanically, to guard against injuries to the sanitation workers as they lift and dump heavy containers.

» The Operations Department continues to work on cleanup following the December snowstorm that knocked over trees and downed limbs and some power lines. In the midst of this work, operations staff also repaired a 3-inch water line near the Magnuson Hotel on Second Street that ruptured. Elliott said, most people experienced little disruption to their water services from the break.

» New water testing requirements call for the town to perform specific test for cryptosporidium in the public supply. It is a parasite that can cause gastrointestinal infections.

Water treatment plants, such as the one in Clarksville that that take raw water from rivers, lakes and reservoirs for public drinking water use conventional filtration technologies that remove 99 percent of Cryptosporidium. Other filtration products employed by the treatment plants specifically remove all Cryptosporidium. Since the parasite is highly resistant to chlorine disinfection, health officials believe it is important to inactivate Cryptosporidium prior to their being an outbreak.

Elliott said the cost of each test is $800 and they need to test twice each month.

» Richard and Roswitha Colton, owners of the property located at 110 Third Street, are withdrawing their request for a special use permit application to cover former commercial space in the lower level of their building to an apartment.

» Work is complete on Phase I of the Southwest Downtown Community Project and Phase II has begun. The first substantial construction is planned for a home at 509 Commerce Street. Jones said formal bids will be due no later than Jan. 9, and the bids will be awarded by the end of January. Construction would begin in February with an estimated completion date of June.

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